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 November 24, 2023

White House wants pause to Israel fighting in Gaza but admits it's unlikely

White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurka noted Wednesday that the Biden administration would like a cease-fire but realizes it's unlikely in the Israel-Hamas war.

The comments were shared during an interview on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

The situation

"The President recognized very early, the only way, the only realistic way to get a humanitarian pause in place — and we support humanitarian pauses irrespective of a hostage deal — is through an agreement to bring the hostages home," McGurka said.

"And there [were] a number of very, very difficult, intensive conversations between the President and these other leaders that helped get this done. And we’re going to have to see where — what happens over the coming days. But the Israelis have fully committed to this deal. Hamas has committed to this deal through the Qataris and the Egyptians," he added.

Progressives push for more

“A temporary pause in the violence is not enough. We must move with urgency to save as many lives as possible and achieve a permanent cease-fire agreement,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said in a statement Tuesday.

“When this short-term agreement expires, the bombing of innocent civilians will continue. We need a permanent cease-fire that saves lives, brings all the hostages and those arbitrarily detained home, and puts an end to this horrific violence," she continued.

The latest

"Publicly, the president has remained staunchly supportive of Israel as the Palestinian death toll in Gaza has soared — dismissing calls for a ceasefire and alienating core constituencies within his own party," Axios reported.

"Privately, Biden ramped up pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the course of 13 phone calls to pause the fighting in order to secure the release of hostages and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza," it noted.

The concerns add to additional issues with foreign policy under Biden, including both Ukraine and America's military departure from Afghanistan.

The problems also grow as the president moves forward with his reelection campaign, seeking to secure political wins he can tout in the months ahead.

The Israel-Hamas war has been a complex one for the White House that continues to test the Biden administration's resolve in its relationship with Israel.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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